Time To Go Home
You look at the clock and realize that you should have left work 20 minutes ago. "Where has this day gone?", you say out loud to yourself. You quickly pile everything into a stack , throw some stuff into your bag and rush out the door. On the drive home and throughout the evening you think about what you have left undone and what you are going to do tomorrow. If the above description is a typical "end of your day routine", consider an alternative strategy.
Set an alarm to ring 15 minutes before it is time to go home. When the alarm goes off, STOP! Quickly finish what you are doing and E.N.D. your day:
- Evaluate: Consider what went right and what went wrong with your day. Review your meetings and the tasks you accomplished. What was successful and is worth repeating tomorrow? What wasn't so successful and can be improved upon? Make some notes. Schedule some tasks. Self reflection and learning is a powerful and lifelong tool. Too often we rush and fail to learn from our successes and failures.
- Neatness: Organize and/or clean off your desk/work area. File the papers that you were working on. Put away and organize your clutter. When you return to work in the morning and find your work area clean, you get a good start on your day and hit the ground running.
- Diagram: Diagram and plan what you are going to do tomorrow. First, review your calendar. What meetings do you have? How much time will you have to work on other tasks/projects. Based on the amount of time available, what will you get done? Make a list. Prioritize it. Delegate, Delete and Delay what isn't going to fit in tomorrow's schedule. Leave some time for interruptions and emergencies.
15 minutes have past and you can go home with peace of mind - not to mention that you are leaving "on time". As you turn the lights off, mentally signal to yourself that you have earned the right to step out of your "work ring" and now it is time to step into your "self ring" and/or "relationship ring".